• Photo: Florin Stana / Shutterstock


This city's seafront promenade, lined with palm trees and cheerful open-air cafés, looks onto a protected bay dotted with wooden fishing boats. From here one enters the Old Town, a warren of stone buildings and cobbled streets surrounding the main square, which is backed by the parish church and a small open-air market off to one side. The atmosphere is relaxed and easygoing. The only drama you'll likely see is created by the limestone heights of Biokovo Mountain, which seems to alternate between protecting and threatening the town, depending on the color of the sky and the cloud formations that ride over its rugged peaks.

Makarska is the center of the area known as the "Makarska Riviera", a 60 km (38 mile) stretch of coastline from Brela to Gradac.

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Fodor's Essential Croatia: with Montenegro & Slovenia

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